Aging in Place Laneway House

Justine Andrus, Scott Douglas, Junette Huynh, Sophia Juan, Kaylee Lam, | Graduate Student Researchers

Travis McFarlane, Adam Missiuna, Kristen Moody, Rene Pahlavan, Trevor Steckly | Graduate Student Researchers

John Brown | Faculty Supervisor

Senior Research Studio



The aging-in-place demographic is becoming an increasingly important part of the housing market. According to a recent Conference Board of Canada report, by 2030 we can expect that four out of every five new households will be formed by people over 65 and older individuals will account for 80% of the housing demand. Unfortunately, almost all houses are designed for people in good health and can be difficult, isolating, even dangerous places for older persons to live. If this situation remains unchanged, the majority of today’s 5 million Canadian seniors (9.6 million by 2036) may be forced out of their homes and into communal settings such as long-term care facilities. This will adversely affect their quality of life and further stress an already overburdened health care system.


This research project developed cutting edge aging-in-place design strategies for a small laneway house that could be constructed in the backyard of a standard Calgary residential lot. It is a unique community based research collaboration between Architecture and Medical Researchers at the University of Calgary and our industry partners – Homes by Avi, and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.


To learn more about the project view presentations below (pdf):
Design Concept
Living Room
The Aging-in-Place Laneway House is available for viewing by appointment.
If you are interested in learning more about this project or how to get involved, please contact:
John Brown
EVDS Associate Dean (Research + International)


  1. Kathy Mendham says:

    I’d like to see this concept. Please advise on how this can be arranged.

  2. As we are about to begin construction on our universal access home in Montréal, I received the Laneway House document from my sister, Maureen McKay of Edmonton-Canmore. It is very encouraging to see that the well-being and living needs of citizens seems to be a prime concern for Calgary architecture. It has been a total nightmare to get our house approved with inflexible zoning based on 1980 developer formulas applied to an area built in 1890. Imagine that we are required to build 2000 sq ft. despite the fact that this is larger than the old adjacent properties, and whereas 1500 sq ft would have been more than enough. This accounts for a building cost increase of 25% or about 100,000$ for a couple that is close to retirement in my case and already retired for my wife. Should you be interested in the design of this house, of which the ground floor has certain similarities( although larger but with no garage to keep costs lower and access to a rear yard possible) just let me know. Regards, Gary Conrath,architect, Montreal

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